Masculinity, sex and survival in Zambian prisons

Anne Egelund Ryberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Sexual relations between men in prisons occur all over the world, also in African prisons. Sex between men is considered deviant in Zambian society, yet for some prisoners it is a way to cope with the stress of incarceration. Prisoners have to cope with extreme challenges in terms of insufficient food, overcrowding and health challenges. For some entering into sexual relationships becomes a strategy of survival.

With an emphasis on the link between deprivation and psychological, social and physical death, this article explores prison governance with the aim of documenting how sex becomes a strategy for survival. Sexual practices are not isolated from the reality in which they take place, and they play into the power structures between inmates
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrison Service Journal
VolumeMarch 2014
Issue number212
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • prison
  • Zambia
  • masculinity
  • sexuality
  • sex
  • survival

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